View Full Version : Question on altering tracks

2011-12-24, 08:24 PM
I have some music that was recorded off fm onto cassettes many years ago. About 10 or 15 years ago I got a Marantz player/recorder & digitized some of this music. The player had two options for putting in the breaks that signify tracks... either an automatic setting (where it would put track breaks anytime there was a certain amount of silence) or manual setting (where I had to push a button during the recording process at the exact right time to insert a track break). Needless to say, I tried both & neither one worked well, resulting in a bunch of good sounding digital music with either too many track breaks (due to silent bits) or too few track breaks (due to my own inattentiveness).

Now for the question: how do I fix the problem and remove all the errant track breaks and insert proper track breaks and get everything tidy and tagged right and "perfect"? I have the music both on cds and stored digitally on an external hard drive playing through a Mac Mini. Program recommendations and procedural recommendations are appreciated. If I can get this figured out, next I will try to figure out how to offer this stuff up here (some Bruce Cockburn, Peter Rowan, Doc Watson, Pure Prairie League, Moby Grape, Little Feat, etc.)

Thanks for the help!

2011-12-25, 12:16 AM
Use software such as Sound Forge, Audacity, etc.

Combine all the tracks into 1 big track & then re-cut.

2011-12-25, 03:25 AM
Now for the question: how do I fix the problem and remove all the errant track breaks and insert proper track breaks and get everything tidy and tagged right and "perfect"? I have the music both on cds and stored digitally on an external hard drive playing through a Mac Mini. Program recommendations and procedural recommendations are appreciated.

You mention that you have these tracks on an external hard drive. What format are they in? FLAC, SHN, WAV? If the compression is lossless then you should use these files to re-create correctly tracked versions. If the files are in MP3, OGG or a lossy compression then you'll need to re-rip the tracks from your CDs. (I recommend using Exact Audio Copy aka EAC - http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/)

As rspencer mentioned, you will need to combine all the songs into 1 track. Simply load any audio editor and import all the tracks. Then make sure you save the new track into the following format: WAV / 16 bit - 44.1Khz. This will ensure that the audio is CD quality and identical to the original files.

Once you have 1 long track, I would recommend using a program called CD Wave ( http://www.milosoftware.com/cdwave/ ) to split the audio into separate tracks. CD Wave has an intuitive interface so it will be easier to use than an audio editor. CD Wave also separate files on the 'sector boundary'. If files aren't separated correctly, there will be a tiny 'click' heard at the beginning/end of a track.

2011-12-25, 08:09 AM
he's running on a Mac, so CD Wave will not work

join all files together in Audacity...making sure there are no "mini-gaps" of silence where you join them...then

To track:
1. Open your wave, Edit->Move Cursor...->Track Start and hit command-B.
2. Locate all your track splits and mark each one by hitting command-B.
3. Go to File->Export Multiple, select WAV as the export format, Split files based on:Labels, Name files:Numbering consecutively, hit Export.

You'll now have a nice set of consecutively numbered split tracks but they are not cut on sector boundaries. Fear not.

4. Open xACT and go to its fix SBE tab.
5. Add your freshly split WAV's, making extra sure that they appear in the correct order. Ignore the MD5 options, select your output format of choice and hit the Fix button.
6. Admire your handiwork.

2011-12-25, 08:51 AM
If the (previously split) tracks are numbered in the correct order, then it's probably actually easier to join them from the command line by opening a terminal in the directory containing the files and using shntool. Type

shnjoin *.flac

Much quicker than joining them all in a graphical editor. Depending on what format you have them saved in you may have to change the flac bit by shn, wav, aiff or whatever.

2011-12-25, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the help. I will work on this a bit today. Files are currently ALAC (lossless), but the discs are easily accessible, too.

Merry Christmas everyone!

2011-12-25, 02:27 PM
I am stuck on step one... wandering around Audacity trying to figure out how to join the tracks into one file. Audacity imported each track as a separate window. Is there an easy way to join all tracks back into one file for editing?

2011-12-25, 02:47 PM
I found this on the Audacity Wiki:

"How do I combine two files into one longer file?

Follow these steps to splice two files together:

Import both files into Audacity.
Select the second one by clicking on its label (the area around the mute/solo buttons).
Choose “Find Zero Crossings” from the Edit menu.
Choose “Cut” from the Edit menu.
Place the cursor by clicking in the first track, after the end of the audio.
Choose “Paste” from the Edit menu.

You can press the Play button to hear the result, and use the Export commands (in the File menu) to save it as a sound file."

Anybody know of an easier way?

2011-12-26, 11:30 AM
shntool supports alac

shnjoin *.alac

2011-12-26, 11:48 AM
A crash course on using the mac terminal (http://smokingapples.com/software/tutorials/mac-terminal-tips/)

2011-12-26, 03:21 PM
Question: I used iTunes to extract the audio files from the cd (in ALAC), then imported the ALAC files into Audacity to fix all the incorrect track number/breaks, then I exported from Audacity as AIFF (uncompressed) files. I was hoping to use these first two shows as my first opportunity to seed a new torrent here on Trader's Den. However, after reading some of the torrent seeding rules (learning as I go), it appears that by using iTunes (10.5.2, 64-bit) to extract the audio files (the first step in a LONG process), I may have rendered my file 'un-seedable' here. Is this correct?

Also, is using iTunes to extract audio cds a bad idea for some reason? I am doing a lot of extracting right now to ALAC and have been very happy with the results. I do have XLD & could use that, but I like iTunes - quick & intuitive.

I really hope I can seed these two shows here... have been looking forward to giving back some to this community & these two shows are spectacular.

PS Thanks to all of you for the help here. I used AAR.owner's instructions and was able to re-track the first two shows nicely.
PPS That said, I am confused by 4-6. Why do I need to "cut on sector boundries"?

2011-12-26, 04:34 PM
CD audio is divided into sectors. If you do not cut on sector boundaries (or fix after cutting), each track will end up with an audible "pop" at the end, if the show is burned to a CD-R.

2011-12-26, 06:58 PM
Thanks rspencer... I get it.
Learning curve...

Do I understand correctly about not being able to seed a new torrent that was extracted from an audio cd to ALAC using iTunes 10.5.2 (64-bit)?

If yes, should I be concerned extracting an entire cd collection using iTunes? I thought that as long as I am extracting to a lossless, albeit compressed, format (ALAC), I would be getting a compressed bit-by-bit copy?